Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Winning Formula

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Winning Formula

Article excerpt

UNIONDALE, N.Y. - This is probably going to be the formula the Devils will have to win with this post-lockout, shortened season.

And why not? It's worked quite often in the past for this team.

A couple of goals, some solid defense and a few big saves by goaltender Martin Brodeur were enough to produce a 2-1, season- opening victory over the Islanders at Nassau Coliseum.

David Clarkson snapped a 1-1 tie 8:17 into the third period to put the Devils ahead for good only 1:05 after the Islanders tied it. Brodeur, who made his 18th consecutive season-opening start (extending his NHL record for the most with one team), made 18 saves to earn the win.

The game looked very much like one played by two teams after a long layoff, but it was still a thing of beauty to the fans after waiting through the frustrating, 113-day lockout.

Neither side was sharp after having only six days of practices after the lockout officially ended at 10 p.m., Jan. 12 to get ready for Saturday's game.

After falling to Los Angeles in last season's Stanley Cup Finals, the Devils lost captain Zach Parise (Minnesota) and left wing Alexei Ponikarovsky (Winnipeg) to unrestricted free agency and decided not to re-sign right wing Petr Sykora, subtracting 59 goals from their lineup. Still, they feel they have unfinished business from last season after falling two wins short of a Cup.

"It's definitely a motivating factor," Devils coach Pete DeBoer said. "You get a taste of it like we did and you want to get back there and get the whole thing. I think it's a great motivator."

Goal scoring probably will be a struggle for this Devils squad, though.

The Islanders received the first power play of the game on a crosscheck by Bryce Salvador, playing his first game as Devils' captain, only 29 seconds in. The Devils killed it off without giving up a shot on goal.

Mattias Tedenby couldn't convert an early chance to give the Devils the lead when a Patrik Elias feed sent him in alone on goaltender Evgeni Nabokov five minutes into the game. …

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